Former Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was no stranger to Columbus fans during the #SaveTheCrew saga. He made a few trips from his native Kansas City back to his professional home in Columbus and always supported the cause. He called the night of the official Haslam/Edwards announcement to share his joy that the Crew had been saved.
Gruenebaum is an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan, and since they have a playoff game today, I wanted to get this out there so he can feel some Columbus love in the event that things go awry at home for the Chiefs as they often do come playoff time. They are 2-8 all-time at home in the playoffs and have lost six consecutive playoff games in Kansas City. So if you’re watching the game and this trend continues, send him some #SaveTheCrew love from Columbus to boost his spirits.
On the Crew being officially saved after an emotional 15 month ordeal:
I was just as frustrated as anybody and tried to make it back to Columbus as many times as I could this past year, as you know. I just was praying for somebody to step in and have a local group take the reins because in my mind, there’s no reason why Columbus can’t be exactly what Kansas City turned into. It’s just mind-boggling how if you have the right ownership group to put their resources behind it to be a little more innovative and cutting edge, the way Sporting took on the club, it’s a no-brainer. I’m pumped. I’m super excited to be able to bring my family back and watch it all, whether it’s at MAPFRE or the new stadium, it doesn’t matter. Columbus is where it all went down for me. For a while, it was like, “When’s it going to be official? I mean, they saved it right? But when is there going to be the official final announcement?” Clearly you knew this day was going to be official at some point, but it’s very exciting that it’s now official.
On Dr. Edwards being part of the ownership group with the Haslam family:
He’s just a great human being. I spent a LOT of time with Dr. Edwards over my years. Believe it or not, I had a few injuries and I spent a lot of quality time with Dr. Edwards. He’s a guy that would drop anything to pick up the phone and let you know what’s going on. He’s very attentive and very caring. His heart’s in it. He’s already been invested in the club for so many years, and obviously his family has done pretty well for themselves, and it means so much to have somebody so close to the club that has the resources to bring this all together and knows the ins and outs a little bit. I think they’re going to do a great job. I already told him to lock me in to a nice little (Confluence Village) apartment for me to stay in when I come visit, so we’ll see.
On the #SaveTheCrew movement succeeding against long odds:
It’s freaking unbelievable. I feel like I was one of them altogether, even though I’m coming from a different place. I feel like everything they were doing, I was stealing and trying to do in my own way from a distance. To keep the heat on as long as they did and to never give up, it’s the exact reason that I know that city can be a soccer city just like Kansas City. Of course, there are multiple sports there just like here in Kansas City, but if you have the base of fans that Columbus does and then make the experience more hip and trendy and a little bit more cutting edge, especially when the new stadium comes about, it’s going to be incredible to see the turnaround.
On the new stadium and its location:
I mean, that’s perfect. That’s absolutely perfect. It’s incredible what (a new stadium’s) done here in KC. Even though I’ve got a lot here in Kansas City, my home will always be in Columbus and it’s a trip back that we will always want to make back all the time. To be able to now do that and not lose all of that history and to be able to take my kids back to where it all happened, it’s amazing.
On Duncan Oughton’s right knee also being a part of the Crew’s ownership group:
When you have a fossilized dinosaur like Duncan, and even when he played, let’s face it, he was a dinosaur, it led to probably some innovations in knee surgeries. Duncan probably had something that no other orthopedic surgeon ever encountered, because not only was he a dinosaur, but Australian too, and so it probably led to Doc Edwards leading some sort of convention somewhere, teaching orthopedic surgeons about this new Australian dinosaur knee problem. So yeah, I could see where Duncan could make that case.
Then again, I’m pretty sure I’m the Crew’s all-time leader in MRIs. They keep billing me for those. I hold a few stats, some good, some bad, and that’s one of them.
On whether he is pumped for the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs’ home playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday:
Yeah, but I’m realistic too. It’s obvious that after one week of playoff football that defense is going to win and they don’t have it. It’s been a fun ride, but it’s probably going to end on Saturday. The Colts are buzzing. I don’t know. We’ll see. We don’t do well at home in the playoffs and we don’t do well against the Colts. It’s probably not going to be pretty.
(We’ll see, Gbaum! After saving the Crew, anything is possible! Even a Chiefs home playoff win!)
A MASSIVE SEASON is now available as an ebook.